(image courtesy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landscape_with_the_Fall_of_Icarus)
In the Renaissance painting Landscape With Fall of Icarus, the eponymous Icarus is shown falling from the sky while quotidian events continue to occur all around him. Auden wrote a poem about it suggesting people’s indifference to fellow human being’s suffering.
The events of the past week can be akin to a thousand Icaruses tumbling from the sky while the clouds themselves are ablaze. We need to look up from the ploughs we are furrowing to observe, comment and engage with the tumult. It is not simply a case of ‘being positive’ as one Linkedin post today suggested. But to make sense of this anarchy that is unfolding in front of eyes. It is about being present, being alert, being aghast and perhaps some time in the future, finding the courage to be positive.
Simply admonishing others for expressing their fear and their shock over what is happening and beseeching them to be positive no matter what is ridiculous. We have been woken up from a pleasant dream by the clanging bells of dark reality. It’s time to grapple with it and not go back to sleep.